I know I just posted a leak a few minutes ago but I have just received “Rated R” in its entirety. The wait is truly ova – for one of the most hotly anticipated new albums in recent history, as multi-platinum, award-winning Def Jam recording artist Rihanna reveals her fourth original studio album.
The opening track of Rated R is Mad House which initially has a Pendulum vocal style intro which then quickly progresses into a trademark Chase & Status track. It has thumping dustup baselines running all over it, it is quite fantastic.
Stupid In Love is quite clearly a Ne-Yo produced track but the opening sounds like it borrows heavily from her Stargate produced track Unfaithful. The lyrics are very candid and she continues to speak openly about her feelings (presumably about Chris Brown)
One of my most eagerly awaited tracks from the album Rockstar 101 features Rock & Roll legend Slash. If Slash’s name hadn’t appeared on the credits would you be able to tell that he had featured at all on the track? I’m not sure actually, the song is a has a heavy Hip Hop beat that wouldn’t go amiss on a Jay-Z album. There are a few hints of his guitar work but they are criminally masked by the percussion and bass elements of the song. Anyone expecting a Michael Jackson rock crossover style track will be sadly disappointed.
Fire Bomb’s intro sounds like it could have been crafted by master guitarist Slash (infact I wouldn’t be surprised if people had got their info wrong and he had appeared on this track instead). However, the track then transcends into a floaty piano piece before crashing back down into the hard rock chorus. It’s an interesting song because it sounds very different to any of the tracks that precede it.
Rude Boy starts off with Rihanna going back to her Bajan roots with a real catchy chorus hook. Actually the whole song is incredibly catchy. The instrumental is perfect for the track, it uses a Europop synth to give the track a real edge while the drumming is non-sequential and unpredictable which really adds to the sound. This is a real hot track.
I’m not really sure how to describe the track Photographs (which features Will.I.Am), but I personally think it sounds like a bit of an indie track you would hear in the eighties. Wait, the second half of the song just kicked in. The style has totally changed and it now sounds like a track from Calvin Harris. The mashup of both styles sounds fantastic and Will.I.Am’s contribution is noteworthy.
The next track “G4L” stands for â€œGangsta For Life,â€ which takes a long time to reveal itself. This begins the real dramatic soap opera side of the CD. She sings about â€œguns in the airâ€ and that she’s â€œready to rollâ€. It’s a very dramatic song and again has a very obvious Chase & Status sound so you know what to expect really.
The last song has some Jimmy Eat World guitar work in the background and an epic guitar solo in the middle of the track. I was about to say this was a weak track but it has blown me away with how good it is.
All in all, Rated R is an excellent, excellent album. You must go and buy this when it comes out, it is one of the best albums of its “genre” that I have heard in years and it’s definitely her best work to date. Well done Rihanna.
01. Mad House 01:34 *
02. Wait Your Turn 03:46
03. Hard featuring Young Jeezy 04:10
04. Stupid In Love 04:01
05. Rockstar 101 featuring Slash 03:58
06. Russian Roulette 03:47
07. Fire Bomb 04:17
08. Rude Boy 03:42
09. Photographs featuring Will.i.am 04:46
10. G4L 03:59
11. Te Amo 03:28
12. Cold Case Love 06:04
13. The Last Song 04:16